Interview with Author Dougie Brimson

My guest today is author Dougie Brimson. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here. 
Hello!  Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog today!
Of course! 

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

My latest project is the third book in a trilogy about a character named Billy Evans who is

one of those villains who has no issue with bending any situation to meet his own usually

criminal ambitions.

The first book in the trilogy, The Crew, was published in 2000 and was, in fact, my first novel after a series of non-fiction books. Whilst it did really well in paperback, it went seriously crazy when it was released as an ebook in 2011. In fact it’s still at #1 on its Amazon chart, having been downloaded over 300,000 times now.

The second book in the series, Top Dog, was released in 2006 and was also a great success. I actually adapted it for the screen in 2014 and won a few awards with it.

The third book will be out later this year.

That's fantastic! 

Is there anything which prompted this book? Something that inspired you?

Yes, my readers. They have been asking me for years to write more about the central character and so I thought that the time had come to bring the story to a suitable conclusion.

Like most of my books, the story was actually inspired by something I read in a newspaper about a vigilante group. But that’s all you’re getting!

Oh, yes...spoilers! ;)
In any case, I always find it interesting to see where the muse takes us as writers.

Let me ask a different question.

When did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I actually never set out to be a writer and indeed, never even considered it as any kind of

career until I was well into my mid-30’s. Up to that point I’d spent my entire working life as

a member of the Royal Air Force and had never written anything seriously other than reports

for work!

However, I was working with my brother one day shortly after leaving the military and we
had an idea for a non-fiction book about the culture of soccer fans and thought it might be fun

to give it a shot. So after scribbling some notes, I began to think about how we might get it

onto actual bookshelves so I walked into a bookstore, picked up a sports book and wrote to

the publishers.

They were the only people I ever approached and thankfully, they liked the idea enough to offer us a publishing deal and even a decent advance. The book was published in 1996 and was an instant hit, which kicked off a career as a professional writer which is what I’ve been doing ever since. Not just non-fiction but fiction and even a few movies.

It was only a few years later that I realized how fortunate I’d been and that it didn’t happen like that for everyone!


Do you have any favorite authors yourself, Dougie?

No, not really. If I’m reading for relaxation then I’m primarily a non-fiction reader so the pile

by my bedside can include anything from military, history to books about motorcycles.

Reading fiction falls into the world of work for me and as someone who writes in all kinds of

different genres, not just in publishing but for the screen, I tend to immerse myself in the genre

I’m about to step into.

That said, I’m paranoid about any accusations of plagiarism and as a consequence, other than the odd motorcycle magazine I never read anything whilst I’m actually writing.

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day?   

When I started out, as the father of three small kids. I got into the habit of getting up very early and diving into writing until the kids needed to go to school. That way, if I wasn’t able to get back into the zone after the school run I had at least accomplished something each day.

That habit has continued to this day and I’m usually at my laptop by 5:00 every morning. But I can write anywhere as long as I’m in the mood. Desk, armchair, sofa, train, it doesn’t matter to me. I’ve been known to write on my laptop whilst stuck in traffic!

I guess it's as good a time as any! ;)

Are there some words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

I have loads of advice but it’s important to remember that as someone who never had any

aspirations to write and who, even after almost 25 years as a professional author/screenwriter

who still doesn’t really mix with other writers, any advice I give is based on one simple reality:

what works for me.

And that’s the key. There is no way to write, only ways. Some like silence, some like noise, others like solitude, others like Starbucks. But the fact is that it really doesn’t matter how or why, just find what works for you and accept that as ‘your’ way.

However, the single most important piece of advice I ever given to anyone thinking about writing for publication is that if you can’t take advice or handle criticism, then don’t do it. The harsh reality is that both are fundamental elements of the creative process and the best learning tools you’ll have but if you can’t deal with them and take every negative comment personally, then you’ll fairly quickly find yourself being plunged into places so dark that you can’t even begin to imagine how you’ll ever get out.

Thankfully, that’s never happened to me but I’ve seen others fall foul of it more times than I care to remember.

That's a fair point!

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age. It was wonderful having you!  :)

Readers, here are the blurbs for the first two books in the series...


APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEPTIVE - as Paul Jarvis of the National Football Intelligence Unit is only too well aware. He knows that Billy Evans is no ordinary East End lad made good. He's also a thug, a villain and a cop killer. Jarvis just hasn't been able to prove it... Yet.

So when Jarvis discovers that Evans is putting together a hooligan 'Super Crew' to follow England to Italy, he feels sure he can finally put Evans behind bars - if only someone can infiltrate the Crew and get him the proof he needs.

But nothing is ever that simple. The Crew believe Evans is just out for a full-on riot. Jarvis thinks he's trafficking drugs. But Billy Evans is always one step ahead. He has another plan. And it will be catastrophic for everyone concerned.


Purchase Links:


Universal Reader Link:


Hooligan gang leader Billy Evans is above the law. He knows it, and they know it. And when you regard the law as an irrelevance, all kinds of opportunities can open up for you. Especially when you begin to exert your increasingly powerful influence over the back street pubs and clubs of East London.

So when Billy gets the chance to make some serious money very quickly by helping a football club with an insurance scam, he grabs it with both hands.

But he’s about to discover that this time, he's finally pushed his luck too far. And this time it isn't the law he'll have to contend with. It's something far more dangerous.

Purchase Links:


Universal Reader Link:

This is the link to the movie:

Here is an excerpt from the upcoming book.

In The Know by Dougie Brimson

Claire paused for thought but before she could speak again, the door opened and Julie entered, her face coated in fear. Billy took her in his arms for a second and held her. As much for his own sake as hers.

“You should see him before he goes to theater,” she said tearfully as she pulled away. “He’ll like that.”

“I’ll take him,” said Claire. “You stay here for a minute and gather your thoughts, okay?” Julie nodded in response. “I’ll be back in a second.”

Claire gestured to the door and with a last glance at Julie, they left the room and headed toward the cubicle where Hawk lay.

“He’s got a tube in his throat,” whispered Claire as they walked. “So he won’t be able to talk. Just remember, the machines are there to keep him comfortable. There’s nothing to be frightened of.”

Billy nodded but kept his eyes fixed firmly on the approaching curtains. Her words, like everything else in the room, were a blur and his heart was beating so hard that he would have sworn everyone else within a few yards heard it. 

“They’ll be along for him in a couple of minutes, okay?” she hissed. Billy nodded his reply and with a final smile, Claire pulled open the curtains and led him inside.

The scene which met him was, thanks to a million films and fly-on-the-wall TV shows, oddly familiar. A body lay on a bed connected by all kinds of tubes and cables to machines which were busily beeping and flashing in response to whatever was being pushed to or from them. The only thing out of place was that the body wasn’t some anonymous individual, it was his friend Hawk. But whereas he had feared the worst, as soon as their eyes met Billy found himself enveloped by a feeling of calm relief as his fears evaporated. His mate was alive and in the best hands he could be in, and that was all Billy had needed to know. His job now was to simply be himself.

Hawk held up his fist and Billy bumped it. “I knew that bloody bike would be trouble,” he said the second Claire pulled the curtains closed behind her. “You better not have left me it in your bloody will either. Poxy thing will be on eBay that night.” Hawk’s eyes smiled up at him and Billy took hold of his hand. “You know you’re going under the knife, right?” Hawk nodded gently. “Well, I’m telling you now, you see any bright lights, you tell ‘em to piss off, okay?”

Hawk smiled again and tried to speak. Billy squeezed his hand again. “Don’t even think about trying to talk, mate. Whatever it is can wait.”

Hawk slowly shook his head and frowned. The inference was clear. He released his hand from Billy’s and held up three fingers.

“Look, you’ve got to relax,” pleaded Billy. “You can tell me all this shit tomorrow.”

Hawk frowned and began to get agitated. Billy put his hand on his shoulder to calm him down. “Okay, okay, ” he said as quietly as he could. “D’you want me to get the Old Bill in? They’re just outside?” Hawk gently shook his head and once again, held up his three fingers. ‘Three of them?” asked Billy in a hushed voice. Hawk nodded then pointed to his face and tapped his cheek. “White lads.’ Hawk shook his head and tapped his face again. “Black?” asked Billy. Hawk winked then held up one finger. He then moved that to his nose and Billy couldn’t help but notice an involuntary wince. “One of them smelled of something?” Hawk shook his head and then thought for a second before clicking his fingers. Billy frowned. “You clicked his nose? What does that… Oh, you mean you broke his nose?”

Hawk took a deep and obviously painful breath before giving Billy a thumbs up. He then held up two fingers before pointing to his arm and clicking his fingers again. “You broke the second one’s arm?” Hawk nodded again. “And what about the third one?’ Hawk gently shook his head but then after a second or so, he slowly pointed to his side. Billy frowned. “It was the third one who stabbed you?” Hawk gave an almost imperceptible nod and closed his eyes in obvious pain. Billy took his hand and squeezed it. “Okay,

I got it. Now you just relax, okay? You can fill in the blanks tomorrow.”

The curtains suddenly opened behind him and Billy looked up to see not just Julie and Claire, but a whole group of people dressed in theater scrubs. It was obviously time. He took hold of Hawks hand, bent down and whispered, "I love you, bruv. Don’t you forget it," before standing aside and letting the medics go to work.

“Come on, let’s get you that cuppa,” said Claire gently.

“No,” said Billy without turning away. “I want to…”

“It’s okay, Billy,” said Julie calmly. “I’ll go with him. Claire will bring you up once he’s in theater.”

Billy half smiled in response then reached out and took her hand. “You’re the boss,” he said quietly and then, after a brief embrace, she turned and followed Hawk as he was wheeled away through another set of doors and out of sight. Billy stood for a second and stared after them. It had been a long time since he’d felt so helpless or so empty. Or so choked.

“Mister Evans?”

Billy turned to find one of the policemen staring at him. The other three close behind. The enemy. The fact that they’d referred to him by name did not go unnoticed and put Billy immediately on his guard. “What?’ was the only word he felt able to utter.


So, what are readers saying about this book series?


"Thoroughly enjoyable read! To say that I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. The story structure, dialogue and plot line are all well presented and flow smoothly from beginning to the surprising twist at the end. I found myself putting aside other books I was reading at the time, in order to find out what happens next. Definitely a page turner." - Thomas Johnson, Amazon


"The Crew is not only an excellent read, full of twists and turns, including those `just when you think it's all over' moments, but the subject matter is also very interesting. The novel follows the policeman ultimately responsible for the investigation and also the hooligan, an otherwise `normal' bloke with a good job, car and house, who for some reason feels the need to turn himself into something completely different at the weekends. Well written book and very enjoyable read." - Wendy Cartmell, Amazon


(Audiobook review) "Gritty, exciting and with some cheeky humor - well worth a listen! Quality!

The audiobook has been keeping me entertained on the train for the last few weeks, the story is so gripping and the way it is told so engaging that I'm gutted to come to the end!
" - JD, Amazon


"Bravo! This sequel is even more original than the first novel. Something I didn't think could happen. Unlike most sequels, the characters evolve the way real people do and the ending is satisfying in a way mere plot resolutions never are. Treat yourself to both books. Just be sure to read them in order." - Hard2Please, Amazon


And the new book sounds like quite a read! We'll be sure to check out this crime thriller series

Get it now!

Author Bio

Perhaps best known for penning the multi-award winning feature film Green Street, former serviceman Dougie Brimson has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s most diverse writers.

Having enjoyed publishing success with both non-fiction and fiction as well as on the big screen, his writing career began in 1996 when, after 18 years service with the RAF, he co-authored the best-selling non-fiction work, Everywhere We Go. A book that remains essential reading for anyone with an interest in the culture of soccer.

A further 14 books have followed including the best-selling thriller, The Crew -which has

topped  the  Amazon  sports  book  download  charts  for  almost  eight  years  following  its

publication in eBook format- and the critically acclaimed comedies, Billy’s Log and Wings of

a Sparrow.

His 16th book, the third volume in the The Crew/Top Dog trilogy, will be published in autumn 2019.

Aside from Green Street, Dougie has two further feature films on his resume, the multi-award winning urban thriller, We Still Kill The Old Way and the award winning gang thriller, Top Dog which he adapted from his own novel.

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Dougie's Books:

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